Takes Two to Tackle (Santa Fe Bobcats #3)

Takes-Two-to-TackleAuthor: Jeanette Murray

Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet, Intermix

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Publisher and Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Provided by Publisher

 

Blurb: Sometimes faking it is your only option…

Football player Stephen Harrison has hit rock bottom—he’s fresh out of rehab, lost too much weight to be an effective offensive lineman, and has no support system in place. The Bobcats staff suggests he get a life coach to keep him sober and get him back into playing shape, but Stephen says his girlfriend will help. Too bad he doesn’t have one…

Luckily for Stephen, he does have a housekeeper. Margaret has always dreamed of starting her own elite cleaning service, and the money Stephen offers her to play the part of girlfriend is too good to pass up. But while Mags is helping Stephen bulk up and get ready for training camp, she can’t seem to block the feelings crashing into her heart. And one night of passion will pull both of their heads out of the game…

 

Review: This started out as a friends to lovers romance, with a sort of Cinderella goes to the ball thing going on. Luckily, even though the title’s kinda corny, I really loved the relationship that developed between the two characters and the story line that it took to get them there. It had great heat and heart and seriously made me love this author’s writing even more–way to go, Ms Murray! Didn’t realize the world of Bobcats football would be such a winner 🙂

Stephen’s got a lot going against him. Just fresh out of rehab, he’s back at the football training camp with a lot to lose. He’s actually already LOST about 50 pounds, which isn’t good for a defensive player. Who’s going to protect the quarterback? He’s trying to get built up the right way–not drinking it back–but it’s harder out in the real world to stay sober that he’d ever imagined. When the team trainer asks if he has someone at home who can help him, he pretends to have a girlfriend. Not very convincingly, though, because they threaten to get him a life coach if they see signs of him slipping. After a bad night of temptation, he’s worried. Luckily an answer to his problems appears early on–his housekeeper!

Margaret has worked her whole life, and soon she’ll have enough to start her own cleaning business. She’s really great at it and gets a lot of rave reviews and referrals from other professional ball players, but all the cash from her hard work is going towards her employer’s pocketbook, not hers. But Mags is more–she’s also a really nice person who cares about the people she works for. She’d kept cleaning Stephen’s house even though he’d told her to stop and ended the contract with her cleaning service because he was going to rehab–but she really liked him and wanted him to come home to a fresh and clean house.

When they accidentally stumble across each other at his house, Stephen’s loneliness and “missing girlfriend” problem prompt him to come up with a plan that will benefit them both. If she will stay at his house, keep it clean and help him stay on track–he’ll pay her a lot more than she makes cleaning. But, she’s got to pretend to be his girlfriend…

I know, I know. We can all see where this is going–but what a trip! The situations that come up are solved in a funny, sexy ways. There are mis-communications, “does he really like me?” moments, and everything else that you’d expect in this scenario where people are pretending to be something that they are slowly starting to actually “feel.” Getting them to realize it, talk to each other, get over hurt feelings, and actually work on sobriety–this book tackles some uncommon things not normally in a romance novel but it never takes a turn and becomes about that. This was a sexy, interesting take on a football romance about real-feeling characters who took the time and attention to develop a relationship that had depth and intimacy. I really liked it!

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